‘Bip Bop’ is the second song on Wings’s debut album Wild Life.
The track is one of Paul McCartney’s simplest, a blues-style backing and childlike throwaway lyrics. McCartney once described ‘Bip Bop’ as “The weakest song I have ever written in my life”, but in later years indicated an affection for it.
I can get a bit perfectionist about things and think, ‘This is just not one of my grand pieces,’ and often I’ll get a bit down on them. I remember being very down on a song called ‘Bip Bop’ and thinking, ‘Oh God, how banal can you get?’ But I once said that to a producer named Trevor Horn, who produced Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones and a lot of cool recording artists, and he said, ‘That’s one of my favourites of yours!’ And then I could see what he saw in it, which is what I saw in it when I wrote it and wanted to record it, so he made me feel better about that.
The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present
A home recording of ‘Bip Bop’ was taped at the McCartney home in Campbeltown, Scotland, on 6 June 1971. It was performed with ‘Hey Diddle’, and both songs were included on the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits And History.
‘Bip Bop’ is just a song I wrote. It’s the one our baby likes. She knows it and it’s easy for her to sing. It might be ‘Flip Flop’, you know. It could be anything, but it’s ‘Bip Bop’.
The Beatles: The Dream Is Over – Off The Record 2, Keith Badman
The Wild Life version was recorded at Abbey Road on 24 July 1971, with overdubs added five days later.
Wings performed ‘Bip Bop’ during their Wings Over Europe Tour in 1972.
That’s my theory, that in years to come, people may actually look at all my work rather than the context of it following the Beatles. That’s the danger, as it came from ‘Here, There And Everywhere’, ‘Yesterday’, ‘Fool On The Hill’, to ‘Bip Bop’, which is such an inconsequential little song. I must say, I’ve always hated that song.
Conversations With McCartney, Paul Du Noyer
‘Bip Bop Link’, an instrumental version of ‘Bip Bop’, also appears on Wild Life.